Image of the spines of books by Brian Jones ’95, Diane Thiel ’88, ’90 MFA, and Rachel M. Harper ’94
Photo: Erik Gould
The Arts

Fresh Ink for January–March 2023
Books by Brian Jones ’95, Diane Thiel ’88, ’90 MFA, and Rachel M. Harper ’94

By Edward Hardy / January–March 2023
January 19th, 2023

The Tuskegee Student Uprising: A History by Brian Jones ’95 (NYU Press)
On April 6, 1968, two days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of Tuskegee Institute students briefly held the school’s Board of Trustees hostage, demanding changes that would turn Tuskegee into a “Black university.” The move brought 300 National Guards members and 70 state patrol officers onto campus and briefly shut down the school, now called Tuskegee University, and led to wide-ranging reforms, including the start of a Black studies program. Using fresh interviews with former students, faculty, and administrators, Jones, the director of the New York Public Library’s Center for Education and Schools, capably revives this overlooked moment in Black history.

Questions from Outer Space by Diane Thiel ’88, ’90 MFA (Red Hen Press)
Thiel’s third full-length poetry collection, and her twelfth book, arrives bristling with navigable strangeness and open-ended questions. The 67 sometimes otherworldly poems here weave through biology, parenting, the pandemic, world travel, life on Zoom, growing up in the South, the multiverse, and the fate of the earth, among other subjects. The poems appear in a range of forms, some formal and some not, and with a range of perspectives, from aliens looking at the earth and trying to discern what’s going on to children asking the very large questions, like “When is the end?/Is the end a holiday?” Thiel is a University of New Mexico professor who teaches creative writing.

The Other Mother by Rachel M. Harper ’94 (Counterpoint)

It’s 2015, and on his first day at Brown Jenry Castillo stares up at the Carrie Tower, wondering if the long-stalled clock still worked when his mother Marisa was a student. A gifted pianist from Miami, Jenry is on a quest to learn about his father, Jasper Patterson, a dancer who met Marisa when they were undergrads but who died when Jenry was a toddler. At least that’s the story his mom told him. Jenry soon finds out that it’s really Juliet, Jasper’s sister, who is the missing parent he needs to meet. More revelations follow as the narrative toggles through time and various points of view, all on a stage that many readers will find intimately familiar.

Alumni Nonfiction

Aphasia and Other Acquired Neurogenic Language Disorders: A Guide for Clinical Excellence by Brooke Hallowell ’83 (Plural Publishing)

Immigrant Baggage: Morticians, Purloined Diaries, and Other Theatrics of Exile by Maxim D. Shrayer ’89 (Cherry Orchard Books)

Alumni Poetry

the archive is all in present tense by Elizabeth Hoover ’02 (Barrow Street Press)

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Related Issue
January–March 2023